About

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PC: Uday Balwalkar

Priya Sarukkai Chabria is an Indian award-winning writer of ten books which include poetry, speculative fiction, literary non-fiction, translation and, as editor, two poetry anthologies. Her work across genres is published internationally, and is also extensively anthologised. 

Her books include:

  • Sing of Life: Revisioning Tagore’s Gitanjali , poetry,(Context/ Amazon/Westland, 2021)

  •  Calling Over Water, poetry (Poetrywala, 2019)

  • Clone, speculative fiction, (Zubaan, University of Chicago Press, 2018)

  • Fafnir’s Heart World Poetry in Translation, Ed. (Bombaykala Books, 2018);

  • Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess, translations from Classical Tamil, with Ravi Shankar ( Zubaan, Univ of Chicago Press,2016) 

  • Bombay/Mumbai: Immersions, non-fiction, with British photographer Christopher Taylor, (Niyogi Books,2013) 

  • Not Springtime Yet poetry, (HarperCollins (India),2008,) 

  • Generation 14, speculative fiction (Zubaan-Penguin, New Delhi, 2008),

  • Dialogues and Other Poems , (Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Publication ,2005, reprint 2006) 

  • 50 Poems, 50 Poets Ed. (Open Space, 2004)

  • The Other Garden, novel, (Rupa,Delhi,1995)

Priya is Founding Editor of the literary journal Poetry at Sangam. Earlier, she also developed and edited the poetry archive, Talking Poetry India.

Priya studied the Sanskrit Rasa Theory of aesthetics and Tamil Sangam (2-4BCE) poetics which she channels into her poetry, translation and fiction. She learnt Pali to read the Jataka Tales that also flow into her writing. As a cineaste she co-founded the film society Friends of the Archive in Mumbai and co-scripted the film Dhaara which won the Critics Prize at the Oberhausen Film Festival. She has collaborated with classical dancer Malavika Sarukkai on Fireflies, a hybrid arts production of miniature paintings, Bharatanatyam dance and poetry in English. With ANDAL! Girl, Poet, Goddess, performance with The Bhakti Collective she toured urban centres in India to raise funds for the Tata Medical Trust, Kolkata.
 

Invited to international and Indian residencies and literary festivals she has presented her work at Sun Yat-sen University International Writers Residency, Guangzhou; The Writer’s Centre, University of East Anglia; Commonwealth Literature Conclave, Innsbruck; Sangam House, Bengaluru; UCLA, USA; Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Simla; Cinematateca Espanola, Spain; Frankfurt Book Fair; Asia Arts Festival, Singapore; Jaipur Literary Festival; National Centre for the Performing Arts and Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai; ‘Alphabet City’, Toronto; Bengaluru Poetry Festival; Samanvay, Indian Habitat Centre and India International Centre, Delhi; Prakriti Poetry Festival, Chennai; The Chair Poetry Festival, Kolkata etc.

Prizes awarded to her include The Muse Translation Award 2017 for her translations from Classical Tamil for Andal The Autobiography of a Goddess, the Experimental Fiction Award from Best Asian Speculative Fiction Kitab Anthology for her short story Slo-Glo, her speculative fiction novel Clone was selected in 2018 as Best Reads by Feminist Press; she has also been recognised for her Outstanding Contribution to Literature by the Government of India.

 

 

Anthology publications include Adelphiana, Another English: Anglophone Poems from Around the World, Avatar, A Book of Bhakti Poetry:, Asymptote, Mai Feminism and Visual Culture, No News 90 Poets Respond to a Unique BBC Broadcast, PEN International, Post Road, Reliquiae Vol.8 1&2, Soundings Journal of Politics and Culture, Southerly, Translating Bharat Reading India, The Literary Review Unmapped The Indian Poetry Issue, The Yellow Nib: Modern English Poetry by Indians, South Asian Review, The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction 1 & 2, In Other Words: The British Journal of Literary Translation, Voyages of Body and Soul: Selected Female Icons of India and Beyond, Westerly etc. Her poems have been translated into French, German, Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil. 


 

Currently, she’s translating the mystical songs of Tamil bhakti/ devotional poets Karaikal Ammaiyar and Manikkavacakar, completing a collection of speculative short stories and working on The Book of Photographs, a ‘memoir’. Her poems are slowly gathering into another book. 

Interviews

The Dinner Party Reloaded 4: The Poets,
Lucy Writers Platform, May 2021

 

Lucy Writers/ Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge provides the platform for a virtual dinner party hosted by Susanna Crossman where four poets Alina Stefanescue , Elodie Barnes, Nancy Campbell and Priya Sarukkai Chabria talk  about poets as ‘wonder-workers’, poems as rafts, writing the life of Djuna Barnes, revisiting Tagore’s Gitanjali & more.